Workshop on DIY Waterfall and Planters
If you are wondering how you can create a Zen peaceful little place in your garden with a beautiful waterfall that you can make out of almost everything found at home, search no more. Also, how about using some old bottles as planters and saving a couple of bucks while helping the environment? Watch our workshop on ‘DIY WATERFALL AND PLANTERS‘ on 14th August 2021 with our speaker Mr. Anubhav, a gardening enthusiast who finds happiness in his 1800sqft terrace garden.
He understands the therapeutic nature of gardening and believes that we can all grow plants no matter how much space we have. He also has an active YouTube page called GARDENING WITH ANUBHAV and an Instagram page with the same name where you can find more of such informative and creative videos.
DIY waterfall and planters with Anubhav
A sneak peek about Anubhav
He makes very beautiful waterfalls on his terrace. So, today, he is going to show us how to make a very easy waterfall with very little stuff that is easily available at our home. So, Anubhav is going to show us the ways to make an easy and affordable waterfall that can be made at home. He will also be showing us what types of panthers he made in his terrace garden. He will also be showing us various waterfalls that he has made. We will also get to know the importance of all these water bodies on the terrace. We will get to know things like how to maintain, how to take care and how to look after these waterfalls.
“So, we welcome you Anubhav to this workshop on behalf of TheAffordableOrganicStore. So, we can start and you can tell about yourself and your waterfalls”, said Ishika.
“First of all, thank you for having me here. This is a great opportunity for me! I am Anubhav. I belong to Uttar Pradesh. I have been gardening since 2015. I love plants and nature. I love growing plants and this is the thing that attracted me to gardening. I started gardening when my house was under construction. It has been a long journey with gardening and I love doing gardening! Apart from plants, I love preparing DIY articles for gardening. So, today, I will be showing you a waterfall that I made from all the materials available at my home. So, shall we start now?”
“Yes, we can start immediately.”, said Ishika
- “When I will be showing and demonstrating if you have any doubts, please ask me then and there. I’ll be answering them right away. Which language should I use? I can go with English or Marathi or Hindi too ”
“You can use any language of your choice. Maybe, a mix of languages is preferable”, suggested Ishika.
Let’s have a look at Anubhav’s first DIY waterfall:
So, I have a stool with me. This stool was just lying idle in my house. So, this stool was useless. I took a marble tile and placed it over the stool. Making use of marble tile gives a plain surface and also looks beautiful. We also need a tub for this purpose. So, to start with, I have a broken earthen pot with me, which I’ll be using. I have taken an earthen pot (matka) in which I have made a hole on one side of the pot.
- “So, while making these holes in the pot, do we have to use a cloth or a drilling machine for making the hole in the pot?”, asked Ishika
No, I haven’t used any drilling machine. I have just used a sharp tool for making the hole in the pot. It took a bit of time because the thickness of the pot is greater.
Now, fix the pot in the broken vase such that the mouth/opening of the pot is downwards. You can make use of a stone for providing extra stability to the matka. I am using another piece of tile that is rectangular. I have placed this tile on the tub taken in which the plant will be placed. I also have a thermocol box which I have given a cut and painted it as well. There was a hole in the thermocol previously. So, I have used another thermocol piece to cover this hole so that the water which will be falling on it won’t spill or leak from that hole. Now, place this thermocol box underneath the pot so that the water from the pot falls in the thermocol previously and then in the tub.
- “Won’t the thermocol get spoilt over time if we use it for DIY waterfall?”
I have been this thermocol piece for one year and it is working perfectly fine even now. So, it won’t cause any trouble over time.
For providing the pot an extra height, I have used a cylindrical piece that I got from the wiping mop that we use for cleaning in the house.
Now, our basic setup is ready. For the water, we will require a submersible pump. I have connected the pipes with the pump. So, put the pump in the tub and put the tube through the hole in the pot.
- “How to fix the pipe in the matka?”
Put in such a way that the pipe doesn’t come out even if the water is flowing through the pipe. If you are not confident with the setup, then you can make use of glues or sealants to fix the pipe with the pot.
For decoration, I am using a plant named Syngonium. It is a very good plant and enjoys morning sunlight and bright lights. It is a good light tolerant plant. Place the plant right next to the pot.
- “How old is your Syngonium plant?”
My plant is 1 to 1.5 years old. It grows very quickly and gets bushy if we trim the plant.
- “You are trying to hide the pot so that the water that will be coming out from the pot will look like a fountain.”, added Ishika
I have used other plants that do well in sunlight to decorate the tiles with plants. I have also placed one of the plants in the tub so that the water doesn’t splash when it falls in the tub. I have also made use of the buddha pot that will beautify the DIY fountain.
The water in the tub has filled up now.
Let me keep more plants for decorating my fountain. This plant is my Elephant’s ears. It requires bright, indirect light.
The next plant that I am using is Colocasia Black Magic. The leaves of this plant turn black when exposed to the sun. We can also grow this plant as an aquatic plant.
I also have some hand-painted stones that I will be using in my fountain.
- “Have you purchased these stones or have you used stones that are available in nature?”
Whatever stones that I had in the environment, I have made use of that stones only and painted them. I will place them in the thermocol box.
Let me first talk about planters.
- “What idea inspired you to make such DIY gardening articles like waterfall and terrace decoratives?”
When we keep such articles as waterfall, plants, stones, we create an entire small ecosystem. If we keep fish, then they will control mosquito breeding. If we have birds, they will drink water from the waterfall. It also looks aesthetic and beautiful! Research also says that when we hear the sound of running water, we feel peaceful and stress-free. Everyone in the plant community that I know loves to have water articles in their gardens.
- “How to control the breeding of mosquitoes when there will be water?”
Mosquitoes breed in freshwater. So, whenever there will be water, the mosquitoes will surely come. So, to avoid breeding mosquitoes, you have to place some fish in the water. Either keep on changing the water frequently or put small fishes like mollies, guppies in the water that will prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. These fishes also eat algae.
- “Do the fishes need to be fed or will they feed upon the algae and the mosquitoes?”
In the beginning, you can give the fish with fish food. Even if you don’t give the fishes any food, they will survive on the algae and the mosquitoes. The small fishes don’t need to be fed, but the bigger fishes need to be fed properly with fish food.
- “How do you manage all your terrace gardening in the rainy season?”
Rainfall doesn’t affect both of my waterfalls. The only problem during the rainy season is algae. But, the algae also get clean on their own when the rain stops. There is a problem of spillage of water and soil in the rainy season. So, you can mulch the soil. You’ll have to do a little bit more cleaning.
- “When did you start to realize that you have to indulge in gardening?”
As I said that when my home was ready with its construction, I had started with gardening.
As you can see that the waterfall has started.
- “The buddha pot that we have placed isn’t causing any problem to the waterfall and everything is working pretty fine.”, added Ishika.
I don’t switch on my waterfall at all times. I only switch it on whenever my mind tells me to.
- “Would you like to give any additional tips for making this waterfall?”
You can use your creativity and ideas to decorate the waterfall. You can paint the pots or make more creative articles with the pot. You can even use a variety of plants.
- “How to avoid algae in the waterfall?”
If you keep your algae in the shade, the problem of algae will be minimal, but if you keep your waterfall in sunlight, then you have to clean it with your hand. You can even make use of chemicals that are used in the swimming pool to keep the flooring of the pool clean.
- “Can you also tell us about your aquatic plants as well? Have you tried some plants that can be grown in water instead of soil?”
This is my umbrella plant which is placed in water. It can be grown in soil and use of manure can also be made. If you don’t want to place the plant in the soil, then it can be placed in wet soil or moist soil.
- “Which type of soil should be used if we want to plant the plant in water? If people use coco-peat, the compost can get washed in the water.”
Whenever you plant any plant in water, you do not use any coco peat. We shouldn’t use any light material. We can use clayey soil or garden soil. I use garden soil for all my water plants. Take garden soil and vermicompost. Place construction sand on top of it and then use it.
- “We get a lot of complaints about getting good quality sand because the areas where we get sand will also contain salted water. So, where to get good sand from?”
The red sand that comes from the construction site isn’t full of chemicals and it can be used for gardening. You just have to clean it with water. We can use river sand.
I have water lettuce which is another type of water plant. It is a floating plant. It grows well when it is planted in soil. You don’t have to pierce them in the soil. The roots will automatically penetrate the soil for water. So, you have to just place them in the soil. My experience says that the growth of the soil becomes good when there is soil underneath it.
- “Can we even propagate the water plants that you have shown?”
Yes, you can very easily propagate the water plants. Even the umbrella plant can be propagated very easily.
I have one more water plant that I would like to show everyone. I have two plants. One is the Mexican sword plant. It looks very beautiful. The plant remains above the soil and the roots stay in the water or below the soil. I have used a mixer jar for planting it.
- “The water in this jar is still. So, won’t it prove to be a big problem inviting mosquitoes?”
- “How often should we change the water in the pot used for aquatic plants?”
It depends on various factors like how time is required for the water to get stale or dirty. I don’t change my water because my cooler gets a lot of water every time. I just refill my cooler with water and I am good to go. I may change the water once every two to three months, but this is also not required.
- “Which area should be preferred for keeping such plants?”
The aquatic plants are highly adaptive. So, they can sustain themselves in any area. Keep the plants in shades for some days and in the sun for some days. Slowly and steadily, keep on increasing the exposure of the plants to sunlight so that the plants adapt to the sunlight. If my plants are kept in shade and then suddenly exposed to sunlight, then the leaves might dry very quickly. This happens because the plants are not habituated to the sunlight.
- “You have shown us a lot of variety of aquatic plants. Even people will try to plant more aquatic plants. The way normal plants look beautiful, the same way, aquatic plants also look very beautiful. Do need not water them daily. Just make sure that the quality of water doesn’t change.”, added Ishika.
- “Nowadays, we see that Leca that are clay balls are used for gardening. So, have you used or tried them?
I have heard about leca but haven’t used them personally. But, I am thinking to use them for sure. Leca balls look very beautiful. You have to place the leca balls in a pot with the plant and water it. That is it!”
- “Now, I think that we can move on to the planters. You can show us your planters and various techniques involved in planters.”, commented Ishika
- “You are very famous for upcycling of equipment. So, we are very excited to see what other stuff have you used for making DIY articles!”, exclaimed Ishika.
“I have made use of the food containers that we get from the restaurants. All the plastic containers that come into my house, I don’t throw them away, but use them for my terrace gardening. I have covered these containers with rope with a glue gun. I would recommend the use of a glue gun because it is easy to use and things stick pretty quickly with the use of glue guns.”
- “What do you use for making holes in the pots?”
I use a soldering iron. We use to make holes with it very easily. Holes are very crucial in the pot because they help to drain off the excess water from the soil. If holes are not made in the soil, the roots will get rot.
I have used a variety of jute ropes for covering the containers.
- “Do you even color the jute ropes?”
No, I do not color the jute rope. They come in colored forms only.
I have even made a DIY thing from discarded bottles also.
- “As we saw that your Wandering Jew in the background is quite bushy, so, which plants do you prefer for hanging planters that won’t require much care?”
- “We are excited to see the turtle wines because a lot of people say to me that their turtle wines don’t survive despite watering them and fertilizing them properly.”, added Ishika
Most of the plants die due to over-watering. Under-watering isn’t the root cause for the plants to die, but it is over-watering that causes the plants to die off.
“I have planted all the turtle wines in six to seven inches in hanging baskets. I have grown these vines for the past one month”
- “Have you propagated these vines or bought them all?”
I have propagated them all from a single turtle wine. And then the vines just grew on their own. To make them bushy, I have used a lot of cuttings.
- “There are a variety of purple turtle vines. But, I have a problem with them, that is the leaves, in the beginning, are purple, but turn dry after two days. Why is this so?”
This is due to watering and sunlight issues. The variegation in the plants is visible only due to sunlight. If too much light is given, then the plants can experience sunburn. My turtle vines are in full light. Over-watering can be the main cause of this problem.
“The other type of waterfall that I have made is from thermocol. I have made it myself. I had the idea of having my pond and aquatic plants in my garden. So, I prepared this pond at home. Firstly, I made a layer of cement. Then, upon it, I applied a layer of thermocol, and then I created the borders of the cement with the help of bricks and cement. After that, I used aggregates to fill the gaps. Then, I filled the gaps with cement and water two to three times.”
“This waterfall isn’t providing me with any problems but I don’t recommend this type of waterfall to anyone. If you want to prepare such a type of waterfall, then there are certain types of coating available for the waterfalls for the terrace. So, you can apply that first and then prepare a DIY waterfall.”
- “How much time did it take for you to prepare such a waterfall?”
I guess it took me a week for preparing. I just had to water it daily after preparing for the cement to gain strength. I have used an aquarium filter in place of a suction pump.
- “What was the reaction of your family after preparing this terrace waterfall?”
My family was worried about the water leakage through the waterfall. But after repetitive requests to my family, I finally made it.
- “There might be problems of birds spoiling the water in this waterfall?”
No, birds don’t generally spoil the water in my waterfall. This waterfall is a little deep, so, birds don’t generally enter in this water.
- “Can you show the planters that we see in your youtube videos?”
First is this that is stuck with the wall. There are Wondering Jews, Dwarf Syngonium. All the plants require time for adaptation. My Syngonium took a year to adapt to the environment. First, when it was planted, it completely dried up.
- “There are three to four planters tied with the help of a rope. So, does the planter sustain its weight when hanged somewhere?”
If you are using strong and thick rope, then there is no problem.
The other that I have made in with dried guava branch and applied two to three layers of varnish upon it. Then, I have hanged all the plants in bottles. Let me show you how should the bottles be cut for planting.
I generally use a hot knife for cutting the bottles because it is easy to cut the bottle with a hot knife. I generally tie them up with a jute rope because jute rope is strong and durable. You can paint these bottles if you want to. A hot screwdriver can also be used for cutting the bottles.
- “When we cut the bottles, we generally see that the cut part becomes sharp. So do you make use of filter paper to make the edges of the cut part blunt?”
If the cut parts become sharp, then you can slide the hot knife horizontally over the cut part to melt the sharp edges. Now, let’s put the potting mix in the bottles. Ensure that the potting mix is as light as possible. My potting mix is vermicompost and coco peat. You can make use of kitchen compost also. I have not used any sand where the planters are small. If you have big containers, then the draining elements must be very good. Perlite can also be used. Fill the planters with potting mix and then plant in it. You are good to go!
“I hope that we have covered all the parts that were supposed to be covered in today’s workshop.
- For ending this workshop, would you like to give some tips regarding watering elements or aquatic plants that would help all our viewers? ”
The main problem with the watering elements is that of algae growth. So, ensure to keep the watering element in shade to inhibit algae growth. You have to ensure that there is no leakage in the waterfall. Ensure that you provide a slant height for the water to easily have a passage. Ensure to apply two layers of varnishes upon the painted surface to protect the paint.
“All the things that we witnessed today from you, Anubhav, are only through experience. We have to observe our mistakes, rectify them, and learn from our mistakes. We generally do not pay a lot of attention to varnishes. Even in our house, there is a coat of varnishes applied to prevent them from the attack of bed bugs or weathering.”
- “So, what is your inspiration for gardening?”
Before even having my Instagram page, I used to make gardening tools and play with plants. So, I am my inspiration. I was always into exploring nature. I realized all these things after I started gardening. I have a small terrace and all my plants are on the terrace itself. My family belongs to a farmer’s background. So, gardening is in my genes! My mother and father also love gardening. My mother also helps me with gardening. Whenever I can’t look after my plants, my mother takes care of all the plants. First, I started with flowering plants and then indoor plants, fruits, spices, vegetables, and so on……
Thank you Anubhav for such a wonderful workshop
“We saw so many beautiful aquatic plants and I am sure that the viewers also might be thinking to have their aquatic plants now. Even I hope to have my aquatic plants now!”, added Ishika.
I plan to increase my garden even further. Even if my father says that the roof will fall (giggles), I will increase the plants.
“Verticle gardening, floor gardening, and indoor gardening require a lot of space. Even my friends say that they are in lack of space for gardening.”, added Ishika.
So, now let’s end for today. We got to learn a lot of thongs from today’s workshop. I would say that the viewers might have got a simple yet effective way of building their waterfall. In a very simple, cheap, and affordable way, Anubhav demonstrated to all of us. Make new DIY gardening materials. Share them with Anubhav and also with us. We will appreciate that you learned something new from our workshop. Even the kids can indulge in these fun activities. They will also learn something new from these activities. Anubhav demonstrated that it is very easy to grow aquatic plants. You can protect them from sunlight and grow them, easily. So, we learned a lot of things from today’s workshop. I really appreciate your effort Anubhav. We got to know the real science of using planters. Thank you, Anubhav.
“Thank you, Ishika for hosting me here. I really wanted to share all of my experience with you all and I appreciate TheAffordableOrganicStore’s effort in conducting this workshop. If you have any doubts or queries, you can comment down or chat with me through my Instagram page.”, thanked Anubhav.
“Thank you, everyone, for joining this workshop, and thank you once again Anubhav for being with us throughout the workshop.”, thanked Ishika.